A new book about old age by the much-loved author of The Snowman and Ethel & Ernest
In his customary pose as the grumpiest of grumpy old men, Raymond Briggs contemplates old age and death… and doesn’t like them much. Illustrated with Briggs’s inimitable pencil drawings, Time for Lights Out is a collection of short pieces, some funny, some melancholy, some remembering his wife who died young, others about the joy of grandchildren, of walking the dog… He looks back at his schooldays and his time as an evacuee during the war, and remembers his parents and the house in which he grew up. But most, like this one, are about his home in Sussex:
Looking round this house,
What will they say,
The future ghosts?
There must have been
Some barmy old bloke here,
Long-haired, artsy-fartsy type,
Did pictures for kiddy books
Or some such tripe.
You should have seen the stuff
He stuck up in that attic!
Snowman this and snowman that,
Tons and tons of tat.
“A mesmerising jumble of jokes, drawings and elderly gripes… All human life – and death – is here in this lucky dip of memories and fears, irritations and idle thoughts… [Time For Lights Out] has black humour galore…and, as always, Briggs’s drawings have a touch of magic about them, conjuring human beings and their foibles out of a few precious lines.”
Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday
“[Time for Lights Out is] direct and personal…on the tragi-comedy of growing old. [Briggs] looks on ageing with a beady but sympathetic eye…and mordant humour all the way through… there are plenty of excellent jokes in this book.”
Nicholas Tucker, The Times
“A beloved genius of storytelling and illustration.”
Rachel Cooke, Observer, *Graphic Novel of the Month*
“Many congratulations to The Oldie's Raymond Briggs on his elegiac new book, Time for Lights Out. The great author and illustrator takes a funny, sombre, bittersweet approach to old age, with fond thoughts of his grandchildren, parents, childhood and his partner Liz. The book is illustrated with his characteristic understanding of real life... Bliss.”